New Retail: How Lian Martin, Founder of Retrograde PH, Built the Prototype for the Future of Fashion

With Vintage Apparel Store Retrograde PH, Lian Martin Takes the Future of Fashion Retail Online

Retrograde PH is a company of powerful contradictions. It is an online vintage store with one foot firmly in the past, and yet, in many ways, it is also the future of retail. Its 24-year-old founder, Lian Martin, is young by any measure, but as a pioneer of Instagram selling she can be considered long in the tooth in the rapidly changing landscape of the Internet. In 2017, with a teenager’s allowance, she created a fashion brand which sources products from and sells to lovers of vintage apparel across the entire nation. And yet what drives the company is its social conscience and commitment to the environment. Past and future, young and old, profit-driven and socially aware, Retrograde is the prototype start-up company of tomorrow, built by a unique new kind of entrepreneur.

The Business Manual sat down with Lian Martin, founder of Retrograde PH, in a pre-war colonial building in Escolta, to trace the beginnings of her entrepreneurial journey and take a look at the future for ventures like hers. Martin, who now lives in Australia, where she works as a chef for the restaurant Nobu, tells us what it took to establish the company and shares her reasons for why she continues to run–and grow–Retrograde.